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North Yarmouth to discuss leaving SAD 51

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North Yarmouth to discuss leaving SAD 51

NORTH YARMOUTH — With the question of withdrawing the town from its school district going to voters next month, the Board of Selectmen has planned public meetings to discuss the issue.

The meetings will be held at 7 p.m. on two Wednesdays, Oct. 10 and 17, at Town Hall. Selectmen voted 3-1 last month to put the question on the Nov. 6 general election ballot.

If the question be approved, negotiations would begin between North Yarmouth and School Administrative District 51, which the town formed with Cumberland in 1966. A negotiated withdrawal plan would be developed and ultimately go back to North Yarmouth and require approval by two-thirds of voters.

Resident Mark Verrill, who spearheaded a petition drive to put the question on the ballot, had 214 signatures validated by the town clerk's office in July – 11 more than required to approve the petition. He has said he hopes leaving SAD 51 will significantly reduce property taxes, improve the quality of education while lowering the cost, and preserve North Yarmouth's rural character by curbing growth.